1. Oprah Winfrey
Estimated earnings: $315 million
The Queen of All Media's résumé is as impressive her income, thanks to a dizzying array of projects, including a magazine, radio channel, Website, TV specials and the final season of her top-rated talk show. Her Harpo production company, which spawned the careers of Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray and Dr. Oz, recently rolled out its latest franchise, The Nate Berkus Show. Come January the list's top-earner will add the lifestyle-themed Oprah Winfrey Network, in partnership with Discovery Communications, to her media empire.
2. Beyoncé Knowles
Estimated earnings: $87 million
One half of the most famous couple in hip-hop (the other half: Jay-Z), Beyoncé continues to expand her business empire beyond music. Endorsement deals with companies ranging from Nintendo to L'Oréal and her growing House of Deréon fashion line bring in millions of dollars per year on top of the $86 million she grossed from a 90-plus date world tour.
3. Britney Spears
Estimated earnings: $64 million
Not long ago most of the entertainment world had written off Britney Spears as a celebrity flameout. But over the last year Spears logged the fifth-highest-grossing tour in the world, bringing in $130 million in gross box office receipts by playing 98 dates. High-profile endorsement deals with Elizabeth Arden and Candies' prove that the public expects Spears to stay in the spotlight for good.
4. Lady Gaga
Estimated earnings: $62 million
A newcomer to this year's Celebrity 100, Lady Gaga broke down the door to fame with outlandish outfits and quirky videos, including one that featured her and Beyoncé poisoning an unappreciative boyfriend. With a 106-date tour that grossed $95 million, Lady Gaga is also a marketer's dream, teaming up with Polaroid, Virgin Mobile, Monster Cable and Viva Glam.
Estimated earnings: $58 million
The Material Girl isn't quite ready to cede her spot in pop music's hierarchy to Lady Gaga or Britney Spears just yet. The 52-year-old singer had the fourth-highest-grossing tour of 2009, bringing in $6 million a night and $138 million overall. An episode of the Fox hit sitcom Glee, which featured cast members singing several of her songs, added to her already high profile, and publishing royalties cushioned her earnings.
6. Sandra Bullock
Estimated earnings: $56 million
With two hit movies (The Proposal and The Blind Side) and an Oscar win raising her profile, Bullock should have been sitting on top of the world. And she is, financially: With $56 million she's the highest-earning actress in Hollywood. But a messy breakup with cheating husband Jesse James turned her into tabloid fodder. Bullock was able to overcome adversity with news of an adoption and a public return at the MTV Movie Awards.
7. Ellen DeGeneres
Estimated earnings: $55 million
In addition to her short-lived gig judging American Idol, DeGeneres remains host of her popular talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and lends her face to ad campaigns for American Express, CoverGirl and new entry Vitamin Water. In May she announced she was launching her own record label, eleveneleven, and promptly signed 12-year-old YouTube sensation Greyson Chance as her first artist. More recently she signed a multi-year production deal with Warner Bros., which will allow her to produce shows and social media projects with the studio.
8. Miley Cyrus
Estimated earnings: $48 million
The teen star behind Disney's lucrative Hannah Montana franchise (now in its final season) has matured into a serious entertainment draw, averaging a nightly gross box office of $1.2 million across 57 tour dates. A starring role in the movieThe Last Song, heavy radio play for her hit "Party in the U.S.A." and her cut from all of those T-shirts with her face on them add up to a large bump in her earnings over last year. But whether she can maintain that appeal without the Disney machine propping her up remains the $48 million question.
9 Taylor Swift
Estimated earnings: $45 million
The most-played artist on the radio in 2009, Swift's 100 live dates during the last 12 months grossed $54 million. She's one of the few artists who can still convince millions of fans to legally buy music--her Fearless album topped the 2009 sales charts, moving 3.2 million units, while fans downloaded another 12 million tracks from iTunes and Amazon. Major endorsement deals with Sony and CoverGirl helped her bottom line too. More recently Speak Now, her third and latest album, sold more than 1 million copies in its first week on shelves, making it the fastest-selling new record in five years.
10 Judge Judy Sheindlin
Estimated earnings: $45 million
While Oprah Winfrey is busy doling out gifts during her final season, daytime rival Judge Judy spends her television time administering tough love. The latter has proved a successful formula for the judge, who frequently trumps Winfrey in the ratings. Still better for the 68-year-old star: Her series brings in a cool $45 million for the year. America's most-watched courtroom will enter its 15th season this fall.